Richard Branson and the Virgin Group Case Study

Richard Branson and the Virgin Group Case Study

Assessment Prompt:
You are required to read the case on Richard Branson and the Virgin Group and prepare a 12-14 minute board-level PowerPoint presentation that addresses the following questions (support your answer in details in the Notes page of the slide):
1. What common resources and capabilities link the separate Virgin companies? (30%)
2. Which business if any should Branson consider divesting? What criteria should he use in deciding what new diversification strategy to pursue? (40%)
3. What changes in the organisational structure and management systems of the Virgin Group would you recommend? (30%)

Purpose of the Assessment
The purpose of this assignment is to
a) test the student’s knowledge of the core concepts, models and frameworks taught in the module and relevant to the strategy process
b) allow the student to apply their learning in the module to date in a case study analysis and to present their findings in a high-level board manner that captures the key issues

This case study is based on Case 20: The Virgin Group in 2015 in the book in Robert M. Grant’s book Contemporary Strategy Analysis. The case study touches on competitive strategy and innovation, strategic management.

The sample solution is presented in a PowerPoint Presentation with speaker notes (at the bottom of each slide).

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Resources and capabilities
  • Virgin companies shared resources and capabilities
  • Divesting criteria and businesses to divest
  • New diversification strategy and decision criteria
  • Organisational structure change recommendations
  • Management systems change recommendations

Richard Branson and the Virgin Group Case Study

Introduction

The Virgin Group was established by renowned entrepreneur, Richard Branson. The history of the group can be traced back to 1968 when Branson formed the Student magazine after dropping out of school. Over the years, The Virgin Group has grown to become a highly diversified organisation with operations in several industry segments and countries. The group so far operates in the UK, the United States, Australia, Russia, South Africa, and Canada among several others.  Some of the areas the group mainly focuses on are Telecoms and Media, Music and Entertainment, Financial Services, Travel and Leisure, and Health & Wellness (Virgin Group 2017).

The Group boasts of owning hundreds of companies directly or through its subsidiaries. It also boasts of having holding companies in seven main business categories. In addition, it has a stake in several companies, such stake acquired through the formation of joint ventures with other corporations.

Virgin Group has a strong asset base and its success has partly been attributed to the reputation and celebrity status of its founder, Richard Branson. Some of the Group’s notable assets include its fleets of airplanes, trains, and megastores. In addition to these, it has several resources including a strong brand name, a good reputation, talented human resources, and finances. In combination, these resources have helped the group develop capabilities and competencies in different areas. Continue reading

Harley Davidson Resources Capabilities

This article attempts to answer the following questions:
Q1. What are the resources and capabilities of Harley-Davidson? And how do they grant the firm competitive advantage to compete in the motorcycle industry? -Harley-Davidson Resources Capabilities
Q2/ How effectively Harley Davidson’s strategy is implemented and how the firm exploit its key strengths while protecting itself from its key weaknesses?
Q3. What threats to its continuing success does Harley Davidson face, and how should it respond to current & future challenges?

Case study source: Robert M. Grant.  Contemporary Strategy Analysis.
Preview:

Harley Davidson’s Resources, Capabilities, Strategy and Threats

Resources have been defined as inputs into the production process (Grant, 1991) and as the productive assets owned by the firm (Grant, 2016). Based on these definitions, resources are basically what the firm has and that it can use to create value. Resources can be tangible, intangible, or human as noted by Grant (2016). Tangible resources are resources that can be touched, such as financial resources (like cash, securities, and borrowing capacity) and physical items (like land, plant, equipment and mineral reserves). Intangible resources are resources that cannot be touched and include such things as reputation (brand and relationships), position, technology (such as patents and copyrights) and culture. Human resources include skills or know-how and productive effort offered by the firm’s employees (Grant, 2016). It also includes motivation and capacity for communication. It is worth noting that the firm does not own its workers but it purchases their services through employment contracts. On their own, or in combination with other resources to form capabilities, resources can be sources of competitive advantage (Edwards, 2014).

An analysis of the internal environment of Harley-Davidson reveals that the firm has numerous resources. One of the resources the company has is its brand. In this regard, Harley-Davidson has a good reputation which has greatly contributed to its success in the market (Grant, 2016) … continue

According to Grant (2016), strategy is concerned with matching company’s resources and capabilities to the opportunities that emerge in the external environment. While in agreement with this notion, David (2011) notes that although a strategy can be good or effective, its implementation can be poor or ineffective. Harley-Davidson sought to achieve competitive advantage and higher sales by developing and implementing several strategies. One of Harley’s key strategies was that it sold a unique Harley-Davidson experience rather than motorcycles (Grant, 2016). … continue

Based on Porter’s five forces model, factors such as bargaining power of supplies, bargaining power of buyers, threat of substitutes, and the threat of new entrants can threaten the success and profitability of a business (Mille, et al. 2011; Porter, 2017). Harley faces the threat of new entrants such as witnessed in the entry of Excelsior, Polaris (Victory), and Indian into the motorcycles market. These and other new entrants have the potential to eat into Harley’s market share in different markets, thereby reducing the company’s sales and profitability. … continue

Harley Davidson Resources Capabilities